Takes Advantage Of Strong Progress To Date
Ionic Rare Earths Limited (ASX: IXR) has approved an increase to the planned infill drilling at its 51% owned Makuutu Rare Earths Project in Uganda.
Due to accelerated progress at Makuutu, a further 2,100 metres have been added to the Phase 4 drill programme, increasing the overall program to 7,800 metres.
The additional drilling will focus on increasing the JORC resource confidence classification of Area I from Inferred to Indicated.
Makuutu has been confirmed as one of the world’s largest scale ionic adsorption clay (IAC) hosted rare earth element (REE) deposits, located 120 km east of Kampala in Uganda.
Managing Director,Tim Harrison, said the Phase 4 drill programme is part of the targeted work programme to increase the Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) classification at Makuutu, planned for Q1 2022.
A significant increase in the MRE classification will form a key milestone for the company in order to move towards completion of a Feasibility Study, including supporting activities, which will enable the submission of a Mining Licence Application (MLA) in the second half of 2022.
“The Phase 4 drill programme progress at Makuutu has to date been ahead of schedule – we have mobilised three rigs to site in the most intensive drill program at Makuutu attempted to date,” Mr Harrison said.
“The team has navigated challenges, maintaining high HSEC standards and working with local authorities and community stakeholders to ensure covid protocols are maintained at all times.
“This positive progress to date has unlocked the potential to increase the size of the overall drill program, now increased to 7,800 metres, which is expected to be completed over the next 4 weeks and get the drill core back to Australia for assay and ultimately feeding in to the MRE update in Q1 next year.
“These additional metres that the company has added to the drill programme reflects the growing confidence that Ionic has in the development of Makuutu as a secure and long-term supplier of critical and heavy rare earths.
“By adding this drilling allocation, we are providing a very strong foundation for the Feasibility Study, which aims to define in excess of 250 million tonnes of the resource to measured and indicated confidence at Makuutu in the near term, with substantially more greenfield exploration upside remaining long term.”
Makuutu Phase 4
The aim of the Phase 4 drill programme is to convert the Inferred Resources on RL 1693 to Indicated and Measured Resource category, plus also converting RL 1693 Exploration Targets to classified resources.
This additional approved drilling will now aim to convert all of the inferred resource on the previous EL 1766 (Retention Licence application TN03555 approved for granting) to Indicated category. These higher classified resources will then be used to underpin the Makuutu Feasibility Study.
The second tranche of assays has been received in Australia with the third tranche in transit from Uganda and is expected to arrive in Perth within the next week.
Substantial delays on the receipt of analytical data from the analytical labs is being experienced with quoted delays of eight to 10 weeks affecting the assay lab in Perth, Australia. For further information please visit: https://ionicre.com.au/